Champions League - Quarter-finals
AtalantaAtalanta1PSGParis Saint Germain2
By Tom RostanceBBC Sport
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe
There were just 149 seconds between Marquinhos' equaliser and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's winner

Paris St-Germain scored two late goals in a sensational comeback against Atalanta to reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time in 25 years.

A night of frustration for PSG forward Neymar looked set to ensure more continental disappointment for the French champions as unfancied Atalanta led through Mario Pasalic.

But the Brazil forward then laid on a 90th-minute equaliser for Marquinhos and substitute Kylian Mbappe teed up former Stoke striker Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to slide in the winner.

On the 50th anniversary of the club's founding, it looked like being a familiar tale of failure for PSG on European club football's biggest stage.

Neymar, the world's most expensive player, was all too often the only bright spark for Thomas Tuchel's side, but was also guilty of two glaring misses.

But the introduction of Mbappe - the world's second-most expensive player - proved crucial as his pace and quality finally undid the stubborn Atalanta rearguard to provide an astonishing finale to the first one-legged quarter-final in the re-shaped competition.

PSG will now face either RB Leipzig in the first semi-final next Tuesday night.

The £200m man delivers

PSG have made a habit of finding improbable ways to lose in the Champions League since their emergence as a global force off the pitch - with Barcelona's comeback from 4-0 down three years ago perhaps the most notable.

And Tuchel could well have joined Unai Emery, Carlo Ancelotti and Laurent Blanc in paying for that failure with his job with another letdown in Lisbon.

Champions League debutants Atalanta undoubtedly kicked-off as underdogs but have been superb all season, scoring 98 goals in Serie A and playing attractive, fluid, attacking football.

Neymar had already missed one glorious chance - running clean through on goal but shooting wide - when Pasalic capped a typically stylish Atalanta attack with a brilliant left-footed curler to give the Italian side the lead.

Neymar - whose salary was reported this weekexternal-link to be equal to that of the whole Atalanta squad - blazed wide again when well placed.

But to his credit the former Barcelona man, brought to Paris largely to deliver in this competition, continued to work hard for his side, driving them forward all night.

His 16 completed dribbles were the most in a Champions League game since Lionel Messi for Barcelona against Manchester United in April 2008.

He was always likely to produce PSG's decisive moment if one arrived, and Marquinhos got on the end of his dangerous ball across goal to poke in the equaliser just as a tired Atalanta looked poised to record a huge shock.

Their heads understandably went down as extra-time loomed but the fit-again Mbappe - majestic from the moment he stepped onto the pitch - glided past their defence again to lay on a tap-in for Choupo-Moting, a free transfer from the Potteries two years ago.

It was only a third win in 11 quarter-final matches in the European Cup for the French side. Could they now go all the way and claim the prize they covet most?

'It's impossible to eliminate us'

Neymar: "I never thought of going home. From the warm-up to the end, we believed in it. We never gave up. No-one will take this desire to go to the final away from me.

"We are a great group, we are a family, so we know that with this state of mind, it is impossible to eliminate us."

Thomas Tuchel: "I thought about elimination, after 88 minutes at 1-0, I am realistic. But I didn't have the feeling that we weren't going to score.

"I told my assistants that if we scored a goal we would win. After this match, these efforts are absolutely deserved."

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini: "We came very close, it was very close. It looked as if we could do it, pull off a great achievement.

"Mbappe coming into the game, combined with the presence of Neymar, changed things for PSG. He gave an energy to PSG, who were losing the match - it was fundamental because of what he brought to the game."

Man of the match - Neymar (Paris St-Germain)

Neymar
The Brazil superstar missed two inviting chances in the first half but stuck at it, carried his team when they needed him and eventually engineered the breakthrough.

Line-ups

Atalanta

  • 57Sportiello
  • 2ToloiBooked at 67mins
  • 3Caldara
  • 19DjimsitiBooked at 37minsSubstituted forPalominoat 60'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 33Hateboer
  • 15de RoonBooked at 50mins
  • 11FreulerBooked at 45mins
  • 8GosensSubstituted forCastagneat 82'minutes
  • 10GómezSubstituted forMalinovskiyat 59'minutes
  • 88PasalicSubstituted forMurielat 70'minutes
  • 91ZapataBooked at 53minsSubstituted forDa Rivaat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Sutalo
  • 6Palomino
  • 7Czyborra
  • 9Muriel
  • 17Piccoli
  • 18Malinovskiy
  • 20Da Riva
  • 21Castagne
  • 22Bellanova
  • 25Gelmi
  • 31Rossi
  • 90Colley

PSG

  • 1NavasSubstituted forRicoat 79'minutes
  • 4Kehrer
  • 2Thiago Silva
  • 3Kimpembe
  • 14BernatBooked at 54mins
  • 21HerreraBooked at 57minsSubstituted forDraxlerat 72'minutes
  • 5Marquinhos
  • 27GueyeSubstituted forParedesat 72'minutesBooked at 75mins
  • 18IcardiSubstituted forChoupo-Motingat 79'minutes
  • 10Neymar
  • 19SarabiaSubstituted forMbappéat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Mbappé
  • 8Paredes
  • 16Rico
  • 17Choupo-Moting
  • 22Diallo
  • 23Draxler
  • 25Bakker
  • 29Muinga
  • 30Bulka
  • 31Dagba
  • 34Ruiz-Atil
  • 36Mbe Soh
Referee:
Anthony Taylor

Match Stats

Home TeamAtalantaAway TeamPSG
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home9
Away17
Shots on Target
Home4
Away6
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home29
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Atalanta 1, Paris Saint Germain 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Atalanta 1, Paris Saint Germain 2.

  3. Post update

    Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Hans Hateboer (Atalanta).

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Atalanta 1, Paris Saint Germain 2. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Paris Saint Germain) right footed shot from very close range to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kylian Mbappé.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Leandro Paredes (Paris Saint Germain).

  7. Post update

    Ruslan Malinovskiy (Atalanta) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  8. Goal!

    Goal! Atalanta 1, Paris Saint Germain 1. Marquinhos (Paris Saint Germain) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Neymar.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

  10. Post update

    Attempt missed. Julian Draxler (Paris Saint Germain) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Neymar.

  11. Post update

    Julian Draxler (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Remo Freuler (Atalanta).

  13. Post update

    Attempt missed. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Paris Saint Germain) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Julian Draxler with a cross following a corner.

  14. Post update

    Corner, Paris Saint Germain. Conceded by Mattia Caldara.

  15. Booking

    José Luis Palomino (Atalanta) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  16. Post update

    Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  17. Post update

    Foul by José Luis Palomino (Atalanta).

  18. Post update

    Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Mattia Caldara (Atalanta).

  20. Post update

    Neymar (Paris Saint Germain) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

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